How much time is consumed by the process of laying blame for something that happened in the past. My two brothers and I spent hours trying to ascertain whether the action on the part of one of us was accidental, accidentally on purpose, or horrors – ON PURPOSE. Accidental could be forgiven. Accidentally on purpose meant an unspoken probation. But on purpose deserved swift retaliation.
Only through the guidance of our Mom did we learn that even ‘on purpose’ demanded forgiveness, not retaliation. God would take care of that.
This morning I read one of my sons’ twitters – I spent all day thinking about it and concluded the shadow on a sundial does go clockwise but only goes half way round. I wondered if this was on purpose which led me to think of God, in all his wisdom, created the earth ‘on purpose’. He created the colors of the blue sky, the grey to fleecy clouds. He created the green of the grass and leaves on the trees. The birds of lustrous color to the drab every day color. As I walked a black butterfly flitted through the air before me. Suddenly I wondered what color I would have painted the sky ‘on purpose’, or the trees, the grass and the flowers. Suddenly I thought about the huge space above us, and the patterns of contrails left by planes. A ‘What If” scampered through my brain – what if birds, bees, butterflies and all manner of flying creatures left a ‘contrail’ of different colors. I tried to imagine what the air would look like, a tapestry? What if those ‘contrails’ had a pleasant odors that provided different deodorizers to earth.
‘On purpose’, I stopped my flight of fanciful thought….and thought of our ‘On Purpose’ God. The verse that declares that “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.” Job 37:5.
My daughter, Anna, in her blog (http://drivingwithanna.blogspot.com) used the intriguing poem,
The time I have is only mine
Because you give it to me, Lord
As I make a list of things to do,
Please place Your hand on mine.
Between the lines,by Nancy Parker Brummett
Write those things
You would have me do.
The things I don’t even know about yet
That will make today worth living.
‘On Purpose’ living is being in submission to our ‘On Purpose’ God. Letting Him guide us to be holy and submit to Him. His will is supreme, for how can we hope to live ‘On Purposely’ when we want our will to supercede His? Who is God? Reading Job 38 shows who God is. It contains a list of questions that God asks Job. These questions show the infinity of wisdom and far thinking of God’s ‘On Purpose’ actions in creation are:
- Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
- Who marked off its dimensions?
- Who stretched a measuring line across it?
- Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb?
- Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?
- Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
- Have the gates of death been shown to you?
- Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?
- What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?
- Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail
- What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed?
- Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
- Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?
Is it any wonder that those with wisdom belong to the most wise God? How often did our grandfathers make decisions in the fields by ‘reading’ the seasons and the sky to know when to plant and to harvest? How often did our ancestors give plentiful thanks to God for what He gave them to eat, to clothe themselves, to provide for their families. When my grandmother was small — she possessed two homemade dresses — one for everyday and one for Sunday. The idea of wearing a brand name clothing was not even considered. My favorite ‘mind’ picture of Grandma Suderman shows her in a house dress and an apron. Her work-worn hands hidden underneath the apron, the breeze riffling through her grey curly hair, her blue eyes crinkled in a sweet smile. God’s ‘on purpose’ love showed through her thoughts, her caring for family and others, her gentle words and her gentleness.
In His ‘On Purpose’ plan, He sent Jesus to be the sacrifice, once and for all, for our sins. ‘On Purpose’, Jesus gave his life for us. Luke 19:10 says, For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
Our decision to live ‘On Purpose’ is a thoughtful response to our Lord Jesus.
‘On Purpose’ living is encapsulated in this verse for me in 2 Timothy 2:22-25:
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.
Picture from Gwen Smith.